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Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses Special Collcection:  COVID-19

Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

Nadine Pembleton
Federal Transit Administration
5 March 2021


[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 42 (Friday, March 5, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13015-13016]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-04598]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[FTA Docket No. FTA 2021-0002]


Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of request for emergency OMB approval.

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SUMMARY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this 
notice announces that the Information Collection Requirements (ICRs) 
abstracted below have been forwarded to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review for an emergency approval of a new, mandatory 
information collection. The FTA requests OMB approve this collection 
within 15 days. The FTA is collecting this information to inform FTA 
actions to support the transit industry's COVID-19 recovery efforts. 
The ICRs describe the nature of the information collection and their 
expected burdens.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before March 22, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for the proposed 
information collection should be sent within 15 days of publication of 
this notice to www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. All comments received 
are part of the public record. Comments will generally be posted 
without change. Upon receiving the requested six-month emergency 
approval by OMB, FTA will follow the normal PRA procedures to obtain 
extended approval for this proposed information collection.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Candace Key, Office of Transit Safety 
and Oversight--System Safety Division, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Mail 
Stop TSO-10, Washington, DC 20590 (202) 366-1783 or 
candace.key@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FTA requests public comment on this 
information collection, including (a) whether the proposed collection 
of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions 
of the agency; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden 
(including hours and cost); (c) ways for FTA to enhance the quality, 
utility and clarity of the information collection; and (d) ways to 
minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, 
including through the use of automated collection techniques or other 
forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this 
notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB 
approval of this information collection.
    The summaries below describe the nature of the information 
collection requirements (ICRs) and the expected burden. The 
requirements are being submitted for clearance by OMB as required by 
the PRA.
    Title: Transit COVID-19 Response Program.
    OMB Control Number: 2132-TBD.
    Type of Request: Request for emergency approval of an information 
collection.
    Abstract: COVID-19 continues to pose significant challenges for the 
transit industry. Numerous transit providers have suspended service and 
a greater number have reduced service. Yet, throughout the COVID-19 
public health emergency, transit agencies across the country continue 
to provide millions of trips to lifeline services, including 
transporting healthcare personnel and other essential workers on the 
front line of the Nation's COVID-19 response. Transit agencies also 
offer additional essential services to support communities during the 
public health emergency, such as meal delivery and Wi-Fi access in 
underserved areas, and have begun offering transportation to 
vaccination sites. Accordingly, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure 
Security Agency designates transit workers as essential critical 
infrastructure workers.
    Transit agencies and other stakeholders have expressed concerns 
about the risk of COVID-19 to the transit industry and, along with the 
FTA, have taken steps to address these concerns. Numerous transit 
agencies have implemented mitigations to limit the transmission of 
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among their workers and 
within their systems. Despite these efforts, frontline transit workers 
remain at high risk for work-related exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because 
their work-related duties must be performed on-site and involve being 
in close proximity (<6 feet) to the public or to coworkers. In 
addition, many transit workers fall within racial and socioeconomic 
demographics that are at increased risk of getting sick and dying from 
COVID-19.
    In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued 
Emergency Use Authorizations for two COVID-19 vaccines. Most States 
have prioritized distribution of the vaccine to their populations 
consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations on 
the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines during the first phase of vaccine 
delivery (Phase 1). Essential workers, including transit workers, are 
recommended for vaccination in Phase 1b after health care personnel and 
long term care facility residents. However, FTA's review of State 
vaccination plans indicates that many States have prioritized transit 
workers differently than CDC/ACIP guidance and placed another group 
ahead of transit workers. States have

[[Page 13016]]

already begun distributing COVID-19 vaccine doses to high-risk groups, 
including frontline workers. It may take many months before all 
frontline transit workers can be vaccinated, though their communities 
will continue to rely on them to provide critical transportation 
services every day--including transportation to vaccination sites.
    On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued E.O. 13998, ``to save 
lives and allow all Americans, including the millions of people 
employed in the transportation industry, to travel and work safely,'' 
requiring immediate Federal action to mandate masks on public forms of 
transportation, including transit. On January 29, 2021, the CDC issued 
an Order requiring the wearing of masks by travelers, including on 
public transportation, to prevent spread of the virus that causes 
COVID-19. The CDC Order requires transportation operators to require 
that all persons wear masks when boarding, disembarking, and for the 
duration of travel, with certain exemptions. Operators of 
transportation hubs, which include bus terminals and subway stations, 
must require all persons wear a mask when entering or on the premises 
of a transportation hub. Subsequently, the Transportation Security 
Administration (TSA) issued a Security Directive on February 1, 2021 
that implements the CDC Order.
    The FTA plays a critical role in providing risk-based guidance and 
support for the COVID-19 recovery efforts of the transit industry. 
Accordingly, the FTA will require that respondents provide the 
following information using a fillable electronic online application: 
Transit Worker Counts: Total number of transit operators, other 
frontline essential personnel, and other workers during the reporting 
period.
    COVID-19 Impacts on Transit Agency Service Levels: Yes or no 
responses to indicate if the agency suspended service, reduced service, 
or operated at normal levels during the reporting period.
    COVID-19 Impacts on Transit Workforce: Cumulative counts of transit 
worker COVID-19 positives, fatalities, recoveries, and unvaccinated 
employees during the reporting period, and yes or no responses on 
whether the agency is requiring workers to be vaccinated, whether the 
agency has implemented the CDC Order and TSA Security Directive 
requiring workers and passengers to wear masks.
    Respondents: FTA will require this information, pursuant to 49 
U.S.C. 5334, from recipients and sub-recipients of FTA funds under the 
Urbanized Area Formula Funding program (49 U.S.C. 5307) or the Formula 
Grants for Rural Areas program (49 U.S.C. 5311) that operate transit 
systems or pass through funds to sub-recipients that operate transit 
systems. Recipients of FTA funds under the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors 
and Individuals with Disabilities program (49 U.S.C. 5310) are 
requested to provide this information on a voluntary basis.
    Estimated Average Total Annual Respondents: 2,390 respondents.
    Estimated Average Total Responses: 28,680.
    Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 10,356.
    Estimated Annual Burden per Response: 5 minutes per Section 5307 or 
5311 respondent, 200 minutes per Section 5311 State respondent, and 8 
minutes per Section 5310 transit operator respondent.
    Frequency: Biweekly to monthly through December 31, 2021, or the 
duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, whichever comes 
first.

Nadine Pembleton,
Director Office of Management Planning.
[FR Doc. 2021-04598 Filed 3-4-21; 8:45 am]
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